NASCAR Power Rankings: Joey Logano starts season on top

As expected, Joey Logano was in the mix at the end of the Daytona 500. In the craziness that developed in overtime, and with cars bouncing here and there in a string of accidents, Logano came home second, finishing behind winner Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in a white-flag-lap caution conclusion.

Logano opens the season atop the NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings, the same spot he held at the end of last year. By the way, he also held the Cup Series championship trophy.

Stenhouse, the latest driver to score an upset in the 500, also makes the season’s first listing of those in power.

NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings

1. Joey Logano — There is no reason to doubt that Logano will once again be a solid contender for the seasonal championship. If there had been a green-flag run to the checkered at Daytona, the trophy might be at his house today.

2. Kyle Busch — As Busch pointed out on his team radio Sunday, he “won” the Daytona 500 because he led the 200th lap — the scheduled end of the race. Of course, the 500 went into overtime and ended as the Daytona 530, but Busch made a fine debut in the Richard Childress Racing No. 8.

3. Christopher Bell — Another third-place finish in the Daytona 500, and Bell might begin to like superspeedway racing.

4. Ryan Blaney — Blaney came home eighth Sunday in a car that had been through the wringer.

MORE: Winners and losers in the Daytona 500

5. Ross Chastain — No smashed watermelon for the Melon man at Daytona, but he ran at the front, led twice for six laps and finished ninth.

6. Chris Buescher — Buescher and teammate Brad Keselowski drafted perfectly in the second half of the race, leading a total of 74 laps before both lost a shot at the win in the final scramble.

7. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. — Win the Daytona 500, and you get a spot in the rankings. Pretty simple.

MORE: JTG-Daughterty team member a unique presence in Cup garage

8. Alex BowmanBowman sat on the front row to start the 500 for what seemed like the 50th time (it actually was his sixth in a row). He led 12 laps and finished fifth, the first Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

9. Martin Truex Jr. — Truex led 13 laps Sunday but was boxed out of the decision-making group at the finish.

10. Kyle Larson — Larson’s Chevrolet seemed to have the power to win Sunday, but he was another victim of the madcap racing near the finish.

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NASCAR Power Rankings: Joey Logano starts season on top originally appeared on NBCSports.com


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